Jul 12, 2007

Guardian Angel Alarm Clock

My guardian angel is named Grace, at least that's the name I've given the lovely spiritual being that God has given me for a personal protector and a guide. A number of years ago, someone told me that a guardian angel will awaken a person at the time requested. When I must get up at a specific time, I ask my guardian angel to awaken me. [Being a person of relatively weak faith, I've also set the alarm clock as a backup.]

Invariably, I awaken shortly before the alarm clock goes off. It never fails, and it also means my spouse is not awakened by the ringing alarm because I shut it off first. A couple of times, our alarm clock was mis- or never set, yet I awakened at the proper time--even though it may have been earlier or later than the time I had decided on during the prior evening. I've concluded that Grace knows the time I need to arise better than I do. The last time, I didn't set the alarm clock and sure enough, I was awakened at the right time. [Grace is also a very good co-driver--sometimes warning others I am going to do something stupid so they can get out of the way!]

An internet search of "guardian angel" and alarm clock produced interesting tidbits of information on St. Padre Pio's guardian angel, including:
Father Alessio Parente was assigned to assist the fragile monk from the chapel to his monastic cell every day. But Father Parente had a habit of oversleeping. Often he wouldn't hear his alarm clock or, half awake, he would switch it off. "Every time I overslept," he says, "I heard a voice in my sleep saying, 'Alessio, Alessio, come down!' and a knocking at my door....
St. Padre Pio told Fr. Allesio that he sent his guardian angel to awaken Fr. Allesio.

Here is an important twice-daily prayer I say to my guardian angel:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day [night], be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Jul 10, 2007

Some of God's Gifts

I often think about how good God has been to me. Here are some of His places and things I see and love near where I live.....

Kansas Wheat Fields

Here are photos of Kansas wheat fields in Springtime==some of my husband's favorite places to visit.

Jul 8, 2007

Where I Think We Are...

WolfTracker left an interesting comment on the previous post re Bishops' Scorecard:
...even after all of the evidence you show to the contrary, you state that things [in the Church] are not "significantly improving." Surely, things are improving drastically, even if not all is all right. Perhaps, I misread your summation. Please help me out.
WT, I think we are now on the upside curve of the 'decline and resurgence' graph of strength within the Catholic Church in the U.S. The graphed line is intended to represent the precipitous fall when so much was lost in the past 40 years. My estimate of where we are now is marked at slightly beyond the low point and climbing.

We are a long way from climbing as fast as we fell, and we are likely to never reach the opposite of that severe decline rate in church strength. For example, weekend (Sunday) Mass attendance fell from approximately 70 percent attendance to 30 percent in 40 years--averaging about 1 percent decline per year for approximately 40 million Catholics (400,000 less Mass attendees per year). It is hard for me to imagine that we can gain 400,000 more regular Mass attendees per year over the next 40 years (but I do believe in God's miracles, especially when inspired by saintly lives and preaching!)

I cannot yet say that things are "significantly improving," although we seem to be advancing to that point. I will use the word "significantly" only when there is at least a sizable increase from the lowest value on the chart. I don't think we have yet reached that point--for example, in number of regular Mass-going Catholics, or in sacramental confessions and marriages.

Good Bishops are now coming on the scene, and one of the most optimistic reports I've seen is the news reported by Sandro Magister that Pope Benedict XVI is very carefully reviewing candidates for Bishops.
Much more than curia appointments, Benedict XVI has at heart the appointment of bishops.

He dedicates much greater attention to these than John Paul II did. Before giving his permission, the pope keeps the dossiers of the designates on his desk for up to two or three weeks. And sometimes he rejects them, without giving an explanation to the competent curia dicastery presided over by cardinal Giovanni Battista Re.

Pope Ratzinger is very demanding; he wants bishops of quality, and doesn’t always find them. The pace of episcopal appointments has fallen by a quarter with him, in comparison with the previous pontificate.
However, even a good Pope and good Bishops will have an extremely difficult job to restore and rebuild the Church to the point where most Catholics regularly attend Mass, get married before living together, and understand the importance of frequent confession. Moreover, the technologically adept secularists and pagans oppose the teachings of Christ and have a great deal more power in society than 40 years ago.